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NIKKI BELLA VS. RONDA ROUSEY, LAST WOMAN STANDING, NXT WOMEN'S TITLE & MORE WWE EVOLUTION PPV COVERAGE

By Mike Johnson and on 2018-10-28 17:57:00

Welcome to PWInsider.com's live, ongoing coverage of the first-ever WWE Evolution PPV from the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, Long Island!

To read the Evolution Tip Sheet, click here.

To listen to the Evolution pre-sale show, click here.

KICKOFF SHOW

Renee Young, Paige and Beth Phoenix are the panelists.  Paige said it feels like the female Wrestlemania moment.  Phoenix said it was almost like a family reunion, as she got to reconnect with names from the past.  Young said she had sort of a lump in her throat all day.

They went to the red carpet where Charly Caruso interviewed Sasha Banks and Alex Bliss.  Bliss said the night was amazing and it was something everyone worked for.  They are showing the next generation where they can go.  Banks began tearing up as she said she never thought an all women's PPV would happen and she has so much joy.  They were asked about wrestling the first women's bout in U.A.E.  Bliss said it was amazing and they didn't know how they were going to be received and people chanted, 'This is hope."  Banks said that night was "bigger than wrestling" and they are changing the world and changing the game.  Caruso referenced that each of them would be wrestling tonight, which may have been an error in the case of Bliss.

Paige and Phoenix talked about their firsts in WWE.  Phoenix mentioned being in the first women's ladder match in OVW and being the second woman to enter the Royal Rumble.  Paige talked about being the first NXT  Champion and how she won the WWE Divas title in her debut on her birthday,

They aired a video feature on Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair.

Michael Cole joined the panel discussion and put over the women on the panel and his history with each of them.  They discussed the Last Women Standing match.  Paige predicted Becky would be the victor.  Cole and Phoenix predicted Charlotte.

They then began discussing the remainder of the card.  No mention of the NXT UK title bout.  Rhea Ripley is there in gear.

On the red carpet, Trish Stratus was interviewed by Charly Caruso.  She said that everything they set out to work for is here.  She debuted for WWE at the Nassau Coliseum so to return at an event for women shows that she and others made a difference.  Stratus said the idea of women's PPV was never even a thought for them.  She just wanted a match on the card and for someone to write for them.  They knew they could do what the guys did.  The blood, sweat and tears of the golden era, her era, helped build the platform that the women today get to use their voices.  Caruso asked about the connection she and Lita feel.  Trish said there was always a Trish camp and a Lita camp and now it's one camp.  She's excited to have that history together.  They were friend and foes and told stories together and she's excited for that energy, especially since Mickie James rolled around with her back in the day.

Carmella joined the panel.  She is grateful to be part of all of this tonight and to have been in the first women's Money in the Bank match.

They talked about Riott Squad vs. Bayley, Sasha and Natalya.

Kayla Braxton interviewed Natalya on the red carpet.  She said she feels overwhelmed tonight but this is what they strived for and feed off of.  She's grateful they all made it to this point.  Natalya said Riott Squad is about the numbers game and aren't used to be put in their place by a dominant team of women.  They have a few tricks up their sleeve tonight.

As the panel discussed the show, R-Truth showed up and told the panel he had breaking news.  He just spoke with Paige (which was news to her) and announced he was going to enter the battle royal and challenge Carmella for the Smackdown Women's title.  Carmella had to explain to him she wasn't champion and he wasn't in the battle royal.   It was meant to be funny but sort of fell flat as he didn't even whip out the "My bad!"

They ran a video feature where Brie Bella interviewed the cast of "Nobody's Fool" to promote the film.  It ended with Brie disrespecting Tiffany Hadish and walking out.

They aired a video feature on the Mae Young Classic final.  Paige and Phoenix picked Toni Storm.  Renee went with Shirai.

Charly Caruso interviewed Maria Menounos on the red carpet.  She said it was a huge moment for WWE and for women in sports in general.  She said everyone was so emotional backstage after her match at Wrestlemania six years ago because it was emotional for them to just make the show.  She said she wanted to be here today to see this with her own eyes.  She's not picking one match as the one she wants to see because every woman on the roster deserves their moment and she wants to see them all.  Ronda Rousey is making a statement and she's been amazing.

They aired the video of the announcement for the Evolution PPV.

They showed R-Truth on the red carpet with Carmella's mother.

Eve Torres joined the panel.   Torres said to think about where they were as performers during her time and seeing where they are now.  There were moments where she "was let down many times" and Beth was there for those moments.  She didn't want to say what she was looking forward to the most.  She gets chills watching the package for Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair.  Ronda Rousey is a family friend and she's excited for her.

Beth said the show tonight is a moment of vindication for the women but there's an unsung group of heroes and men who fought for the women ove their years - writers, producers and their husbands.  They name-checked Fit Finley.

Stephanie McMahon was interviewed by Kayla Braxton on the red carpet.  She said this was their Wrestlemania tonight.  McMahon said she appreciates all the women here and she's so proud of every woman who has ever stepped into the ring in any promotion all over the world.  It all started with the #GiveDivasAChance hashtag and the fans deserve credit too.  Triple H was responsible for how they began training and recruiting the women, giving them the same opportunities and platform.  She mentioned NXT fans chanting "This is wrestling."  She said she hopes everyone enjoys the show.

The panel began talking the Battle Royal.  Phoenix said it could be a game-changer for the career of the winner.  They put over how good Alundra Blayze looked and how excited they were that she was competing.  Torres said she wishes she was competing.  Paige praised Nia Jax and talked about her Royal Rumble performance.  

Charly Caruso interviewed Nia Jax, who was with Ata Johnson, the Rock's mom.  They noted Johnson's birthday just passed.  Jax said it was important to have her aunt here sitting in the first row.  

The panel discussed Kairi Sane vs. Shayna Baszler and their history over the last year.

Ronda Rousey was interviewed by Charly Caruso.  She said she's looking to start a family soon and she wants her daughters to deal with less BS, just as she dealt with less than her mom did.  She wants to keep whacking away.  When asked about Nikki Bella, she said the kind thing to do would be to finish her quick and be done with her but she wants to make sure Bella looks different leaving than she does walking in.

They aired a video feature on Bella vs. Rousey.

They did a final push for the event.  For those wondering, zero mentions of Crown Jewel during the Kickoff Show.

WWE EVOLUTION

Before we go any further, I want to dedicate tonight's coverage to the late Georgiann Makropoulos, who certainly would have popped huge and loved tonight's show.  Georgie was a great friend to pro wrestling and to us here at the site and I wish she was around to see this.  I dedicate the coverage tonight to her. 

After a great opening video, there was a musical performance with Nita Strauss playing guitar in the ring and Lizzy Hale singing near the entrance.

Lita & Trish Stratus vs. Alicia Fox & Mickie James (with Alexa Bliss).

Bliss took the mic and said tonight is going to be a great night.  She said that she knows it's past Lita and Stratus' bedtime.  She told them to turn their hearing aids up so they can listen to her introduce the true pioneers of the women's division, Mickie and Alicia.

Lita and Fox started out.  It was all Lita early on.   Mickie tried to get involved and was flipped into the ring and tossed into the corner atop of Fox.  Trish tagged in and Lita did Air Sabu off Stratus’ back into the corner. 

Stratus leapt up to come down with a snapmare on Fox and controlled her.  The crowd chanted “You still got it.”   James wanted in and she and Trish faced off, which the crowd was into.  Mickie shoved her, and Trish nailed her with a forearm.  They battled back and forth.  Stratus nailed a Thesz Press and drilled Mickie with a series of rights.  She sent Mickie into the ropes but was nailed.  They battled atop the turnbuckles until Stratus nailed a top rope rana for a two count.

James went to the floor to regroup with Fox.  Trish and Lita teased a dive but instead Bliss’ team tried to walk out.  Trish and Lita met them on the floor and they battled in the aisle.  Lita tossed Mickie back into the ring.  Fox tried to get involved but was taken out.  Lita went to the ropes for a moonsault but Bliss interfered and knocked her off the ropes.

Mickie took control and cinched in a side chinlock.   Lita fought back and flipped her off but was tossed to the floor.  Mickie nailed Trish on the apron.  James nailed a head scissors and a neckbreaker on Lita for a two count.    Fox tagged in and locked in a chinlock of her own.  The crowd was clapping to rally Lita.

Lita finally fought her off and made the hot tag to Trish Stratus.  She met Mickie center ring and drilled her with several right hands.  Stratus used several headlock takeovers and nailed a sit-down powerbomb for a two count, halted only because James interfered.    Stratus unloaded with chops on Mickie.  James responded with a low kick.

Trish hit the old springboard bulldog for a two count, but Fox interfered.  Lita nailed her and hit the Twist of Fate.  Lita hit a moonsault on both.  Stratus nailed the Chick Kick on Mickie and scored the pin.

Your winners, Lita and Trish Stratus!

Solid back and forth match that the crowd was REALLY into.  The only thing that sucked was the referee screwed up a near fall.

Backstage, Kayla Braxton interviewed The Bellas.  Brie Bella said Ronda Rousey made it personal when she brought up their love lives, so Nikki's comments about her mother were fair game.  Nikki said they were naming Ronda's mom the honorary member of the Bella Army and was dedicating her match tonight to Ronda's mom.  She gave her word she was going to walk out the Raw Women's Champion tonight.  Good promo from Nikki.

They aired a video with reactions from women, past and present, about the company holding its first women's PPV.

Battle Royal for a future Championship Match featuring Tamina, The IIconics, Alicia Fox, Nia Jax, Zelina Vega, Torrie Wilson, Alundra Blayze, Lana, Carmella, Mandy Rose, Asuka, Sonya Deville, Nia Jax, Michelle McCool, Ivory, Molly Holly, Maria Kanellis, Kelly Kelly and more.

The competitors each had their own entrance.  Big pops for McCool and Madusa.  They noted it was a big moment for Vega as her father (who passed away on 9/11) used to bring her to the Nassau Coliseum.     They showed Miz, Maryse, MIke Kanellis, Jimmy Uso and R-Truth at ringside watching. 

The IIconics got to do mic work during their entrance, making fun of Long Island accents.  They noted they see some of the greatest who ever laced up the boots and some of their heroes tonight who paved the way.  So, they are going to pave the way for them back to obscurity by tossing them back over the top.  Everyone grabbed them and tossed them over the top.  That was great.

The current stars circled around the older names and attacked them.  Absolution teamed to eliminate Holly.  Zelina tried to toss Maria.  Absolution teamed to eliminate Kelly and Wilson.  They are doing a nice job spotlighting Deville and Mandy.  Rose then turned on her own partner, knocking her off the apron.  Blayze was eliminated by Nia.  She had just hit a nice double clothesline on Naomi and another talent.  Maria tried to take the fight to Nia, and then nailed Tamina in the corner.  She nailed a Bronco Buster on Tamina.  Jax nailed her with a headbutt and tossed out Maria.

Zelina worked over Tamina in the corner but ate a superkick.  Tamina and Jax faced off, then instead attacked everyone else in the ring, teaming together.  They then faced off again.  Lana got in between them (the second time she set up for that spot, so she was early the first time) and slapped them but ended up tossed.  Everyone attacked Tamina and Jax, setting up a multi-person suplex spot that got a big reaction live.

Carmella stood above everyone and began dancing, complete with music.  Ivory joined her.  Mandy grabbed Ivory and tossed her over the top to the apron.  Carmella grabbed Rose and tossed her over the top as Ivory pulled the ropes down.  Dana Brooke was tossed over by Ember and looked to hit her ribs or her hip hard on the apron.    Carmella was worked over on the top rope by McCool.  McCool then hit Moon with a big boot.  McCool went for the Styles Clash but Moon backdropped her over the top and superkicked her off the apron.

Tamina tossed Naomi over the top as she charged her for a move.  Ivory worked over Asuka with a Facebuster.  Moon and Jax battled, with Moon nailing a DDT.  Carmella and Moon battled.  Moon elevated her over the top and drilled her with a forearm, knocking her to the floor.

It came down to Ivory, Asuka, Tamina, Ember and Nia.  Ivory was knocked off the top to the apron by Asuka.  They battled and Asuka nailed a hip attack to send her to the floor.  Asuka and Moon faced off and the place went nuts chanting for NXT.  They went back and forth until Asuka got tossed out.  Tamina went for a superkick but Moon blocked it.  Tamina snatched her and nailed a spinning side slam.   Nia went to get involved but Tamina nailed a superkick.  Nassau chanted "Let's go Ember."

Ember came back and nailed the Eclipse off the top and tossed her over the top.

The final two are Nia and Ember.  Moon charged but Jax blasted her down to the mat.    The crowd chanted for Ember.  She was sent to the apron but grabbed Jax in a submission, pulling her over the ropes.  Zelina Vega returned and blasted both, knocking them to the apron and acted like she won, not realizing they didn't hit the floor.  Nia returned, pressed and tossed Vega to the floor, crashing into Tamina, who was still at ringside.

Moon attacked Nia and nailed several clotheslines.  Nia came back to wipe her out and tossed Moon over the top.

Your winner, Nia Jax!

A truly entertaining and memorable battle royal.  They spotlighted a lot of talents and everyone pretty much had a moment to shine.  It was nice to see the older stars and most of them had a nice moment.  All the Nia-Moon stuff was great.  Zelina got to have a great moment.  Tamina make a good accounting for herself.  Mandy and Deville looked good.  Lots of positives here.

Charly Caruso interviewed Nia Jax, who was tearing up.  She said she got to share the ring with some incredible talents.  She dedicated the win to her family and she has her eye on the Raw Women's title.  She's been champion before and she's a step closer to doing it again.  She wished the best Ronda and Nikki and said whoever wins, they won't be champ long.  Good promo.

I just noticed this but Beth Phoenix is wearing a Bull Nakano shirt under her jacket.  That is AWESOME!

Coverage continues on Page 2!

 


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